Bike Sharing Programs: What Science Says About Benefits For Commuters And Cities
Being healthy is in. Enjoying life is in. Many urban cities are promoting a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle through exercise and clean eating—and we’re totally on board. A popular initiative among big cities, and increasingly in small cities as well, has been bike sharing programs with the use of specialized road bikes. With the rise of such programs, scientists have been at work figuring out if there are benefits for bike commuters and cities, and what they are.
A study analyzing the impacts of the bicycle sharing system in London, through the London’s Bixi program, showed that older men may benefit from cycling exercise because it staves off heart disease and diabetes, while women may see a reduction in depression. The researchers’ surveyed cycle hire users and London data on travel, physical activity, road traffic collisions, and air pollution. A similar study in Barcelona predicted reduced mortality in the overall population with such a program in place. Another study in Seattle concluded that the city’s bike sharing program encourages happiness while bringing profit to the city.
To Rent or to Buy?
The research clearly shows that there are benefits to commuting via cycling. If you want to reap the most benefits, however, it is best to invest in your personal street cruiser bike, rather than continuously renting a city-provided bike for a limited amount of hours (for the sake of not racking up a bill) and having to adapt to each different fit, each time. Owning specialized road bikes will give you the opportunity to properly adjust the machine to your liking and needs, giving you more freedom. The smooth-sailing and awesome
Using an entry level road bike can enhance your health, positively impact the planet, and bring you much happiness.
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